(CNN)A zoo worker in Spain died when an elephant hit him with her trunk, throwing him against the bars of her enclosure, local officials confirmed.
Joaquin Gutierrez Arnaiz, aged 44, was hit by a 4,000-kilogram (4.4-ton) female African elephant in Cabarceno Natural Park in Cantabria, northern Spain, on Wednesday.
Guttierez Arnaiz was rushed to the Marques de Valdecilla University Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
At the time of the accident, staff were cleaning the elephants' compound.
Local police, the Civil Guard and the zoo are investigating the incident.
Francisco Javier Lopez Marcano, Cantabria's Tourism Minister, said in a statement to Spanish media that the elephant that struck Guttierez Arnaiz had a foot infection and was probably pregnant.
The keeper was in the outdoor patio area, washing down the surfaces and monitoring how the animal's foot was healing. The elephant was with her calf at the time.